This basil pesto low carb gift bag came about when my dear neighbor recently asked me for my basil pesto recipe and told me that
she was on a low-carb diet.
That’s when I decided to gather these four low-carb foods, which complement each other so well, and give them to my neighbor in a handmade gift bag: fresh mushroom slices, sun-dried tomatoes, my homemade basil pesto, and a jar of Parmesan cheese. The raw mushroom slices substitute for higher-carb crackers or chips for dipping into the pesto.
As you’ll see in the printable recipe below, I don’t add Parmesan cheese to my basil pesto recipe, because I’ve found that pesto freezes better and for a longer period without the added cheese. Thaw the pesto before serving, and simply add equal parts (or more) of Parmesan or Romano cheese.
Raw slices of button or portabella mushrooms are wonderful when topped with some of this basil pesto, Parmesan cheese, and a sliver of sun-dried tomato. Oh my…low carb Italian snacks never tasted so lish!
These four low carb ingredients fit perfectly into the homemade gift bag that I made. I included a handwritten index card with the basil pesto recipe to add even more of a personal touch.
I couldn’t find a gift bag the right size at home, so instead of going out to buy one, I decided to convert a Trader Joe’s paper shopping sack into the homemade gift bag shown…
…and it turned out well! To make the gift bag: (1) cut the upper half off of grocery sack and discard the top half (2) then with the wider part of the grocer bag facing you, cut it in half right through the bottom and up the middle
(3) then nestle and fit the two halves together and use clear packing tap to tape loose edges together, inside and out. At this point, you’ll have a bag half the width of the original grocery bag (4) then fold over into the inside the top edge, about 2 inches, and secure with tape if needed
(5) then with a hole punch make two holes each on opposite sides, about 1 inch from the top edge (6) then thread ribbon or string of your choice through one set of the two holes and knot to secure. Repeat for other set of two holes. Another option for the handle is to thread a longer piece of string or ribbon through the two holes, tie the two ribbon ends together and then have a double handle. Repeat for other side.
After filling up this rockin’ homemade gift bag with the jars of basil pesto, Parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and a small box of sliced mushrooms, I added some colorful tissue paper and tied it all up with a sweet ribbon.
If you decide to make up a gift bag like this, be sure to tuck in the handwritten or printed recipe for the basil pesto…believe me, everyone will ask for it when they taste it! Here’s the handy printable recipe:
- 5 cups of washed and dried basil leaves, loosely packed
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for topping off jars
- ½ cup walnuts or pine nuts
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice, or vinegar
- Process all ingredients in food processor until desired consistency. (I prefer mine fairly smooth).
- Spoon into small jars, leaving enough space at top to add a tablespoon or so of olive oil.
- Close jars, label and freeze for up to 2 years.
- Unfrozen basil pesto will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.
- When serving this basil pesto, add Parmesan or Romano cheese if desired.
This week I am linking up with Dream Create Inspire Link @Simple Nature Decor Thriving on Thursdays Linky Party @Domesblissity Linky Party Palooza @I Heart Nap Time DIY and Recipes Party @The 36th Avenue Clever Chicks Blog Hop @The Chicken Chick Worthwhile Wednesday @Crafty Allie Friday Favorites @ Life in Leggings What’s Cookin’ Wednesday @Buns in my Oven Tipsy Tuesday @Grey is the New Black MMM @Healthy Diva Life Totally Terrific Tuesday @ Live Randomly Simple The Wednesday Round Up @ Love, Pasta and a Toolbelt Create & Share DIY and Recipe Party @ Designs by Miss Mandee Fabulous Party @Lou Lou Girls Sunday Linky @The Lazy Gastronome Over the Moon Link Party @Marilyn’s Treats Foodie FriDIY@A Dish of Daily Life Funtastic Friday @Olives & Okra Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop @Katherines Corner Party Time! @ Live Laugh Rowe Mingle Monday Blog Link-Up @ Life of Meg